Assistant Professor and Queen's National Scholar
Member Type(s): Faculty
Colleen Renihan is delighted to join the Dan School of Drama and Music faculty as a Queen's National Scholar in 2016. She earned a B. Mus. in Vocal Performance from the University of Manitoba, an Artist Diploma in Opera Performance from the Vancouver Academy of Music, and an MA and PhD in Musicology at the University of Toronto in 2011 with generous funding support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her dissertation Sounding the Past was a finalist for the Society for American Music’s Housewright Dissertation Award.
Dr. Renihan’s research considers aspects of opera and operatic culture from a postmodern perspective. Inherently interdisciplinary in nature, it explores cultural politics, popular culture, performance theory, temporality, memory theory, opera’s interactions with media (specifically film), and opera’s potential for intervention in current debates in the philosophy of history. Her work has been published in a variety of edited collections and journals, including, most recently, twentieth century music, The Journal of the Society for American Music, and Music, Sound, and the Moving Image. Forthcoming publications include an invited chapter on Benjamin Britten’s coronation opera Gloriana to a edited collection for Boydell & Brewer, and a chapter on affective listening in Harry Somers’s Louis Riel for Wilfrid Laurier Press. Two current book projects explore the historiographical dimensions of American postwar opera, and innovation in Canadian opera and music theatre 1970-2010.
Dr. Renihan has presented her research at academic conferences in Canada, the United States, and Europe, including chapter and national meetings of the American Musicological Society, and in 2010, she participated in the Society for Music Theory’s graduate student workshop on ‘Music and Narrative’ with Michael Klein. She was a founding member of Operatics (a working group for the interdisciplinary study of opera) at the University of Toronto, a founding member of IPMC (Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Music in Canada), and has been involved with several research and writing projects at the Canadian Music Centre.
Dr. Renihan has taught previously at The University of Toronto, Western University, Mount Allison University, and The University of Guelph. Recognized in 2012 and 2014 by the Mount Allison University Music Student’s Association Council as “Professor of the Year,” and a 2012 recipient of a Teaching Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from Western University, Dr. Renihan is committed to providing a dynamic learning environment for students in her classes. She has most recently been a participant in the EnLITE certification program at the University of Guelph where she began an ongoing project on the role of affect in the music classroom, and has been exploring enquiry-based learning models in her classes. She has a keen interest in the pedagogical possibilities for digital technology in the classroom, and is a recent graduate of the Digital Storytelling class at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Victoria. She has published on her use of the Twine platform to teach students about the limits and potential of narrative models for music analysis, and uses several other technological interventions in her teaching. Dr. Renihan maintains an active performance schedule as a mezzo-soprano in opera, oratorio, and new music.